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More budget cuts planned to help lower proposed Minneapolis tax hike to 4.7 percent

Outrage over the prospect of soaring property taxes led Minneapolis Mayor R.T. Rybak and City Council leaders to propose more spending cuts as a way to lower the tax hikes.

They’re still going up under the new plan, though, by 4.7 percent. Rybak’s earlier budget proposal could have meant a 6.5 percent increase.

Some of the proposed new cuts to help lower the tax increase:

  •   $0.3 million to meet future pension obligations;
  •   $1 million to paying down debt on internal-service funds;
  •   $1.4 million to the Minneapolis Public Housing Authority;
  •   $1.1 million for Target Center capital projects;
  •   $2 million to the Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board;
  •   $0.3 million to the Municipal Building Commission.

These cuts assume that the Legislature will deliver on $87.5 million in Local Government Aid promised in 2011. If that money is cut, the mayor has proposed $22 million in additional cuts that would take effect in mid-February.

Rybak and council leaders also propose other long-term cuts to strengthen the city budget in coming years, including no pay increases for city workers for two years, and a complicated revamping of neighborhood funding.

Steve Brandt at the Strib notes that anytime city officials tinker with neighborhood funding, there are loud outcries from community activists, and this time will be no exception. And wage freezes will have to be negotiated with many unions representing city workers.

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